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Words in a Night Jar

Alien Buddha,$10.99

Elizabeth Mercurio’s new chapbook, Words in a Night Jar, explores light and darkness. The poems slant from joy to grief. They draw inspiration from nature, music, and poetry. The poems seek resilience and comfort in the fragile beauty of the world, as the speaker in Courage begins tells us,

Don’t torture yourself. 
Never mind the uncertain future, the hidden meanings of things, 
right now, your feet are cold in this creek, 
and there are still lilacs in the back yard.

Praise for DOLL

Beth Mercurio is a poet of lyric intensity, of the salvaged spaces between breached innocence and hope; self-destruction and survival. Unholy sisters, she writes, pass down a catechism/of loveless mothers,/to daughters./ At eighteen they escape/into water color light,/the cold pink breath/of Sunday morning. Blessed are these revelatory spaces and the life-affirming signs that mark them. Like wild violets, she tells us, They twist from snowy soil... Optimistic heart-/shaped leaves, five perfect petals on each fragile stem. DOLL is a collection to savor and to celebrate.

- Dzvinia Orlowsky, Author of Bad Harvest (Carnegie Mellon University Press, 2018)

Although DOLL's delicate lyrics document a struggle with despair, they are also infused with its antidote—moments of beauty and grace. The speaker who feels an orange-red terror bird twist from my heart still notices upon waking the smell of gardenias, like the kind my favorite teacher brings to school/and floats in clear bowls. These poems assert that. despite struggle, at the great abyss./we find not despair but great wings...whose beats dip and soar above the sound of our indestructible heart. Let us welcome Beth Mercurio's fine debut collection.

-Kathleen Aguero, Author of After That (Tiger Bark Press, 2013)

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